Replacing laptop optical drive

My little brother’s laptop (Gateway mx7340) has a dead cd/dvd drive. When I asked my dad about gift ideas for my brother, he suggested a replacement drive. I’ve built and tinkered with a couple of desktop systems, but never with a laptop, so I just assumed an external drive would be the way to go. But looking about online I see replacement drives and instructions for installing them.

My question is have you folks ever done this, and if so how did it go? Can you give me a degree-of-difficulty on this? My dad will be doing the work, since they live across the country, and he’s pretty handy in general but not too experienced working on computer hardware.

I’d just like some guidance here as to the pitfalls I may be ignorant of before I buy the gift.



It kinda varies by laptop. Most Dell laptops, for example, you can just pull the drive out and swap with another one, it takes literally NO effort. I don’t know about the Gateway line specifically.

I have, however, taken a laptop completely apart to replace internal components, and honestly, I would say it’s not USUALLY too bad. You may do some googling to see specifically how it works on that laptop, but typically it’s a matter of “remember where the screws go, and don’t force anything TOO hard.”